What is an H1B Visa and Why is it so important?

By March 27, 2018Immigration Law Blog
what is h1b visa

What is an H1B visa and why is it so important? Well, the truth is that depending on who you are, an H1B visa may or may not be important to you. If you are an immigrant with a graduate education in certain industries that require technical or theoretical expertise looking to come to the US for work, the H1B visa is important to you. If you are an employer looking to hire specialty employees from other countries to work for you, the H1B visa is important to you too. But let’s begin by looking at the H1B visa in it’s most basic terms.

What is an H1B Visa?

So, just what is an H1B visa?

A US H1B visa is a visa that is NOT designed for immigration. The H1B visa is instead designed to allow United States companies to hire graduate level workers in specific industries that require technical or theoretical expertise in specialized areas of industry.

For example, an IT company looking to hire someone with a graduate degree and specialized knowledge in the IT field can sponsor an H1B visa for an immigrant with the necessary qualifications.

Who Can Qualify For an H1B Visa?

The USCIS website lists the specific criteria for the H1B visa including the general requirements for obtaining the visa and labor condition application requirements. They also list the following criteria that an individual must meet in order to be eligible for an H1B visa proposal, this includes:

  • Have completed a US bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specific specialty occupation from an accredited college or university.
  • Hold a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree in the specialty occupation.
  • Hold an unrestricted state license, registration, or certification which authorizes you to fully practice the specialty occupation and be engaged in that specialty in the state of intended employment.
  • Have education, training, or experience in the specialty that is equivalent to the completion of such a degree,
  • Have recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions directly related to the specialty.


What You Need to Know About the H1B Visa

The first thing you need to know about the H1B visa is that it can only be requested by a sponsoring company that is offering work to the immigrant in question. Individual immigrants cannot request an H1B visa themselves.

The second thing you need to know about the H1B visa is that there are only a select number of H1B visas granted per year. A cap on the number of visas granted means that it isn’t guaranteed that an employer will have their H1B petition granted. Still, H1B visas are important because it is a much faster path to legally bringing skilled immigrant laborers into the country than other types of visas. That said, companies that are unable to obtain H1B visas will often pursue other visa options.

The third thing you need to know about H1B visas is that they are granted for a duration of up to six years. The duration of your H1B visa is determined by the need of your sponsoring employer.

Are You an Employer Who Needs Help with the H1B Visa Process?

If you are an employer who needs a little help with the H1B visa process so that you can hire a skilled immigrant laborer, Nelson and Associates can help. Give them a call today at 626-683-3451 to get your questions answered by a legal professional with experience in immigration law.